Misty Poets Project
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Misty Poets Project
Danyall Saeed, Elaine Ma, Nick Besley, and Maddie Alderfer (Group 1)Period 6May 29, 2014
Mao Zedong- Danyall SaeedGreat Leap Forward & the Five-Year Plan- Elaine MaBei Dao- Nick BesleyMetaphorical Images- Maddie AlderferPurpose and Theme- Nick Besley and Danyall Saeed
Mao ZedongDanyall SaeedPeriod 6May 29, 2014
Early LifeBorn December 26, 1893 in a village in Hunan Province, ChinaHe was lucky enough to be born into a wealthy peasant familyWas able to get an education, but was ridiculed often because of his backgroundMao started reading political literature when he got a job at a libraryHe was appalled by Chinese absolutism, and so he began supporting the communists
Political TakeoffAfter he enrolled in Hunan Provinces best university, he was able to take political control of the school by winning several electoral positionsMade a Students Army to defend the school against the army if they ever tried to take overGraduated and met Chen Duxiu, with whom he founded the Communist Party of China in 1921
Eve of RevolutionFirst saw revolution when General Tan overthrew Governor Zhang of Hunan Province in 1920However, since Tan was a Nationalist, Mao and his fellow communists began to plot against himJoined the Nationalist Party to gain position while still remaining CommunistCommunists- Left wing of partyNationalists- Right wing of partyTogether, they were able to take control of northern China by defeating the feudal lordsCivil War and TakeoverAfter the conquering of the north, nationalist General Chiang Kai-Shek massacred all communists in Shanghai, sparking a split between the partyMao, being general of the Communists, was able to spark a peasant revolution in many cities to rebel against the monarchy and nationalist controlAfter initial setbacks, he put together a string of victories, driving the remaining nationalists to the city of Changchun Chiang Kai-Shek and his nationalist supporters fled to Taiwan and established a nationalist stateReign as ChairmanAssumed leadership and established the Peoples Republic of China on October 1, 1949Started industrializing China with Soviet helpBegan two Five-year plans (second of which was The Great Leap Forward) which were aimed at ending dependence on agriculturalismSparked rebellions against anti-revolutionariesHad many people who opposed communism killed or thrown in jail for lifeLate LifeBegan the Cultural Revolution in 1959Object was to root out any element of culture that was not Chinese or communistMany people were driven to suicide who opposed Maoist policies or communismCommunist mobs destroyed everything in their path in many citiesMao died on September 9, 1976, at age 82Regarded as the face of the new China, who brought it out of the agricultural ages and into the modern worldPortrait still hangs over Tiananmen Square in BeijingWebsiteshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/mao_zedong.shtmlhttp://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/mao_zedong.htmThe Five-Year Plan and the Great Leap ForwardElaine MaPeriod 6May 29, 2014
Five Year PlanThe Five Year Plan was Chinas attempt to boost their industry and become a world class powerMao Zedong came in power in 1949 when China was many years behind industrial nations, he wanted to change thisSame level of development as Stalins Russia where communism was feared in the western world and the most populous nations turned to communismFive Year Plan continuedThe Soviet Union was the only country who wanted a treaty with ChinaDecember 1949, Mao and Stalin met in Moscow to sign the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual AssistanceThis provided China funding and technical assistance to modernize industry in the countryRussia provided 10,000 engineers to China and $300 million dollars over 5 yearsFive Year Plan continuedStalins Five Year Plans success and Russian engineers influenced China greatlyIntroduced their own Five Year Plan in 1953This plan tackled steel, coal, and iron production (heavy industry was major reform)Similar to the Russian model, each factory/mine was given a target to achieveFailure to achieve the target meant failing your people
Five Year Plan Industrial DevelopmentGreat Leap ForwardThe Great Leap Forward took place in 1958A second Five Year Plan that lasted 1958-1963Maos attempt to modernize the economy by 1988 (Able to rival America)Targeted industry and agriculture, China reformed into a series of communesEncouraged communes to set up back-yard production plants which added a considerable amount of steel to Chinas annual total
Great Leap Forward continuedBy the end of 1958, 700 million people had been placed into 26,578 communesPeople worked for the commune, not themselves. The commune provided everything needed (Health care, schools, entertainment, nurseries, etc.)Major construction built in record time with questionable qualityGreat Leap Forward continuedMajor increase in figures for steel, coal, chemicals, timber, cement, grain, cotton, etc.Party officials ordered impossible targets that couldnt be completed, resulting in prisonPeople overworked in dangerous conditions, use bare hands if machines breakIt is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever. (Mao on the Great Leap Forward)Bei DaoNick Besley
May 29, 2014
Bei DaoBei Dao was born in China in 1949, two months before communist China began. His real name is Zhao Zhenkai. Bei Dao name is a pen name meaning North Island. As a teenager, he attended one of the best schools in China. during that time, he joined the Red Guard to criticize those who took advantage of their privileges. While he was in the Red Guard, he started writing poetry and became known as one of the Misty Poets. Today, he lives in Scandinavia, away from the rest of his family in China.
Main Theme of AnswerDenying support of the governments choicesIn stanza 2, Dao writes about the ice age ending, which means the imperialism in China. He questions why is there ice everywhere meaning he is asking why there are still troubles with the country.Also, he says The Cape of Good Hope has already been discovered which means the imperialism is over and questions why they go farther. The communists already got control of their country, why do they go farther to control it autocratically like the former monarchs?
Metaphorical Images / Symbols in AnswerMaddie Alderfer
May 29, 2014Metaphorical Images / Symbols1. Look- the gilded sky is swimming with undulant reflections of the dead. The sky is reflecting what is happening on the earth. The sky is filled with pictures of the dead, showing how common death was during that time. 2. They say the ice age ended years ago. Why are there icicles everywhere? This could be referring to the Tiananmen Square massacre. Compromise had already been reached, so why is there still fighting among the nation? Basically, independence had been won from the imperialist nations, so why is there still inequality in a Communist government.
Metaphorical Images / Symbols3. Youve trampled a thousand enemies underfoot. Call me a thousand and one. This relates to the Tiananmen Massacre because troops had killed nearly one thousand students that day. The speaker suggests that he should be killed considering he stands for the same thing that the trampled others did. 4. I dont believe the sky is blue This line describes the dull grayness of the Chinese life and literature and contributes to the rules of literature set by the Communists. This could literally mean that nothing in the speakers life is colorful, including the sky because of all the conflict that is happening.
Metaphorical Images / Symbols5. If the land should rise from the sea again, well choose again to live in the heights. The sea represents the Communist government and the conflict it brings along to the nation. And if the citizens would ever break free of the Communist government and gain independence, they will choose to live the better, free life like they used to have. 6. A glittering constellation pricks the vast defenseless sky. The constellation is a symbol for hope. Dao describes it as the eye of the future, gazing back because in the future there will be peace. The constellation is far away representing how peace may not come quickly but it will come eventually. It represents hope because it is the only thing in the dark sky glistening.
Purpose and ThemeNick Besley and Danyall Saeed
May 29, 2014Purpose of AnswerThe purpose of this poem was to question the methodology of the government as to why they had to go so far to enforce a uniform, communist culture. The speaker denounces his support by saying I do not believe. He wonders why the government has to intrude on the lifestyles of common people when they have already taken control of the country and enforced communist policy. He openly states that he does not believe in communist policy multiple times and renounces the fact that it has begun to control every aspect of their lives.
Theme of AnswerThemesAn authoritarian government leads to rebellious peopleA government can stop a physical rebellion, but it cannot stop a mental oneForcing an ideology down the throats of people causes them to be driven to misery